Will the Seahawks trade down? Draft expert Tony Pauline thinks so

Apr 18, 2020, 2:34 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm
Seahawks John Schneider and Pete Carroll...
The Seahawks are expected to trade down from the first round next week. (AP)

What will the Seahawks do in next week’s NFL Draft? That’s the key question here in Seattle, and according to one draft expert, you should expect more of the same when the first round rolls around.

What can the Seahawks do in the draft to maximize Wilson’s talent?

Tony Pauline, who covers the NFL and the draft extensively for Pro Football Network (you can read his work here), joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Friday to discuss what the Seahawks are expected to do in the draft.

“My information all along is that they’re going to concentrate on the lines of scrimmage (and) at some point in time, maybe they stick a receiver in there,” Pauline said. “But with that first-round pick, they would like to trade down, as they usually do, to collect more selections to maybe get into the later part of day three to get some additional interior offensive linemen.”

Seahawks general manager is known for his draft day trades, as the Seahawks haven’t kept their original first-round pick since 2011. This was especially on display last year, as just weeks before the draft, Seattle had four picks. After trading defensive end Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a first-round pick last year and a second-round pick in this year’s draft, the Seahawks entered the draft with five picks. After a number of trades, Schneider made 11 picks.

This year, Seattle enters the draft with seven picks, including three in the first two rounds and four in the first 101 selections. Seattle’s first pick is 27th overall.

Like many would expect based on last year’s areas of weakness and the roster’s current makeup, Pauline expects the trenches to be a priority.

“I think it’s going to be a very heavy offensive and defensive linemen draft for the Seahawks (and) maybe a receiver and trade down out of round one if the opportunity presents itself,” he said.

What teams could be trade partners for the Seahawks?

“It may be a team like the Arizona Cardinals depending on whether or not they take their offensive tackle at (eighth overall) if there’s an offensive tackle still on the board (at 27),” Pauline said. “I think a team, maybe the New York Giants … if they like Cesar Ruiz, the center from Michigan, because really like edge rushers and Chase Young, Cesar Ruiz is head and shoulders the best center in this draft and then it really falls off almost a full round before the next center. So I think with the Giants or any team in the top of round two that is really, really wants a center or wants to get the best center in the draft, maybe they trade up for a guy like Cesar Ruiz.”

What is UW Huskies QB Jacob Eason’s stock?

Another draft day storyline in the Pacific Northwest is where Jacob Eason, the 2019 UW Huskies starting quarterback, will wind up. Early in the draft process, it was thought he could be the fourth quarterback selected and that he would be a mid- to late-first-round pick. Now, it sounds like he’ll slide to the second day of the draft.

“I think he’s a mid- to late-second-round choice,” Pauline said. “I have not talked to a single team yet that has him traded as a first rounder. Could he go first round? Maybe late first round, but I think that’s a small possibility.”

Even though he’s likely a second-round pick, Pauline says Eason has incredible talent.

“You could make the argument that he is the best arm talent in this year’s draft at the quarterback position, but he’s very rough around the edges and really hasn’t played too much football the last three years,” Pauline said.

Eason was a top prospect coming out of high school in Lake Stevens, WA. He committed to Georgia and played as a starter his freshman year. He was the team’s starter going into his sophomore year, but he got hurt in the first game and then-freshman Jake Fromm played well in his place and Eason became a backup.

After that season, Eason transferred to UW, where he had to sit out the 2018 season due to NCAA rules. He became the starter in 2019 and completed 64.2% of his passes for 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

“Very inconsistent on the field (and) for every one incredible pass that he makes downfield where he’ll place it in a receiver’s hands, he’ll make two or three passes where you’re just scratching your head and you’re saying to yourself ‘what the heck was that?'” Pauline said of Eason’s 2019 season. “With that said, I think he’s a really good developmental prospect, but I also think if you take him in the first round and you expect to get early returns from Jacob Eason, you can be surely disappointed.”

Listen to Pauline’s full discussion with John Clayton at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

Seahawks draft coverage

Moore: Seahawks should draft Jalen Hurts to back up Russell Wilson
What can the Seahawks do in the draft to maximize Wilson’s talent?
Hawks Draft: What do you want them to do and what they do need?
Heaps: Seahawks are unlikely to trade out of 1st round for 2 reasons
Wyman: Could ‘boom or bust’ Bama CB Diggs be Seattle’s top pick?
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Will the Seahawks trade down? Draft expert Tony Pauline thinks so